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How Do You Know When Your Blood Sugar is Low?

Jun 20, 2008
Whether you are pregnant or have some other health condition that affects your blood sugar, you should be aware that there will be times when your blood sugar levels may decrease. When this happens the medical term for it is called, Hypoglycemia.

According to national organizations that provide information about diabetes such as the American Association of Diabetes Educators and the American Diabetes Association, reasons for a drop in blood sugar varies. Some of the causes are as follows as well as what you can do to manage the symptoms before they worsen.

When an individual takes too much medicine, eat too little food or skip or delay a meal, he or she may experience lower blood sugar levels. In addition, sometimes people will exercise too much without extra food, drink too much alcohol or lose a lot of weight.

Some of the symptoms that will occur include: headache, hunger, drowsiness, irritability, blurred vision, slurred speech, weakness, numbness or tingling, shakiness, staggering, and sweatiness. Diabetes patients will use a glucose monitor to check their blood sugar usually before the symptoms get out of control.

When these signs occur, patients will treat themselves by immediately eating or drinking one of the following: A sports drink or soft drink (not diet), a cup of orange juice, hard candies such as jelly beans, raisins or taking glucose tablets which can be found at the local drug store.

The individual will test their blood sugar about 15 minutes later. If it's still low, they will have another snack or drink. After another 15 minutes has passed, the blood sugar is tested again. If it's still low, they will have another snack. The healthcare provider is usually called when the person is still suffering and the sugar still is low.

Family members who are aware of the individual's condition can be a great service to them by helping them administer a glucagon shot (also known as an insulin shot). This is usually prescribed to people who have been diagnosed with diabetes. The shot will help normalize blood sugar levels. When some individuals have been unable to get control over their blood sugar levels, they have passed out, couldn't swallow, acted confused, uncooperative or had a seizure, when this happens and there is no shot available, the ambulance is contacted.

Hypoglycemia affects people differently, one person's experience may not necessarily be the same as someone else's. So loved ones will train themselves to know what to expect and how to deal with symptoms when they arise with their relatives and/or friends. For instance, in the event of an emergency, a victim is placed on his or her side. If a glucagon shot is available, they will inject the glucagon by following the steps provided that come with the kit. The place of injection is usually discussed before a situation like this occurs. When the victim feels better, he or she will eat a healthy snack not a Twinkie, a bowl of ice cream or a glass of chocolate milk or some other unhealthy snack. However, there are those situations that a victim will not respond to a shot, if this occurs the ambulance is called. Severe hypoglycemia can cause one to pass out or worse enter a coma.

If you have been experiencing any of these warning signs, make an appointment to see your health care physician. During the office visit, he or she will question how often you have been experiencing these symptoms, they will conduct a blood test, prescribe a medication if necessary, and show you how to monitor your blood sugar levels. With some pregnant women with gestational diabetes (another type of diabetes that happens during pregnancy,) they have to journal what they eat and interview with a dietician to go over a meal plan that will best help them control their blood sugar levels.
About the Author
Nicholl McGuire, Freelance Writer For more information on health, fitness and beauty products visit, http://agedefyinghealthbeauty.blogspot.com
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